About 4 or 5 years ago, I was really struggling to find contentment in marriage.
Nothing about my marriage seemed to be the way that I’d thought it would be.
My husband was working all the time. I was busy being a Mom to 3, one of which was a needy toddler, and one who was a baby.
My husband wasn’t as romantic as I’d like and I found myself very unhappy.
My marriage hadn’t really turned out the way I’d hoped.
Those things that bugged me about my husband well, I found out I couldn’t change him the way I’d thought I could.
He wasn’t the guy of my fantasies after all.
I had thought that over time, he would see that I was the one who was right and change.
In those days, I ashamed to say that I struggled with wondering what might have been had I married someone else.
Friends, marriage isn’t for the faint of heart. It takes a lot of work and a lot of commitment.
The truth is, all those things that I was struggling with haven’t really changed. What has changed, is my perspective and attitude.
I believe that there will be seasons in each and every one of our marriages that won’t be easy. I’m under no illusions that this will be the last time that I’ll struggle. However, I believe that when we see marriage from a different perspective, it can be a beautiful thing.
Today, I want to share with you the 8 things that have helped me find contentment in my marriage.
*I want to remind you that the following things won’t help you if you’re in an abusive relationship. If you are in harm’s way, please get help.
#1: Realizing that neither of us is perfect.
In all reality, marriage is the joining of two imperfect people. If we can choose to accept our husband’s faults and all, the reality is we will be a lot happier. At one point, I really thought that his imperfections were worse than mine. These days I choose to believe the best of him. I choose to believe that he generally has only good thoughts towards me.
#2: We can’t control our husbands.
I spent years actually believing that I could be charming enough to change him.
Friends, you are not your husband’s Holy Spirit. We cannot convict our husbands to righteousness. What we can do is pray for him. Sometimes he’ll never change. The trick is to let go of that control, realizing that we need to love our husband’s the way Christ does-unconditionally.
#3: We can only change ourselves
If there is something in your marriage that you don’t like, do your best to change yourself. You can talk to your husband, but ultimately the choice to change will always be his.
#4: Focus on the good things
My husband, Bernd is an incredibly good provider. He’s a great Dad and he’s a man of integrity. Those are the things I focus on. He may not do everything I’d like him to, but he’s still a good man.
#5: Walk in Gratitude
Since we live in an imperfect world, we must remember that there is almost always something to be thankful for. I choose gratitude for what I do have instead of what I don’t.
#6: Brag on his good points
This is something I struggle with. I’m naturally a “fixer,” but sadly that can come across as being very picky. I strive (daily) to see the good in others and not just the things that should change.
#7: Get rid of negative influences
It might be a t.v. show.
It could be chick flick movies.
For me, it was Christian romance novels.
In those books, all the characters seemed perfect. The men did amazing things for their girlfriends/wives. They seemed forever thoughtful and romantic. Their husbands were always in the best of shape. They were incredible spiritual leaders. They worked in the church, etc, etc.
A few years ago, the Lord asked me to give up those novels for a whole year. That was the beginning of my change of heart. I realized that those books had served to mess with my thought life and I had to spend some time re-wiring it. These days, I will occasionally read one of those books and it doesn’t bother me anymore, but it’s not something I do often and the truth is I never will again.
#8: Spend time in prayer for your marriage
I started my prayers by asking the Lord for a fresh passion for my husband. It took time, but eventually, he gave me a renewed passion and love.
I began to pray about the things that bothered me about him. And while I was praying for him, I surrendered control of him to God. These days, I choose to love him exactly the way that he is without strings attached.
So, friends, I want to remind you that marriage to one man for life is God’s perfect plan.
Mark 10: 9 (NIV) Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.
Marriage isn’t a cake walk. It takes hard work and commitment.
Tell me, how do you find contentment in your marriage?
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